The Fourth Generation
L'Esprit (Vespertilio Lahcen)
beacon machine broke
Eighteen-year-old Lio Lahcen is of mixed Moroccan descent, dark-skinned and dark-eyed with wavy black hair. She’s built tall, broad in the shoulder and hips, with long muscular limbs. Her features are distinctive, pleasant in a somewhat androgynous kind of way. Freckles and scars mark her skin.
She’s looked better. She’s drawn and tired, no effort put into even trying to hide it anymore with makeup and nice clothes and an almost-sincere smile. When she responds to things, it’s flatly or with anger, and she pushes away everyone but Sarah.
As L’Esprit she wears a classic trenchcoat, hat, and gloves, with a patterned scarf to hide her face. Ideally it’s an all-black ensemble with a colorful scarf and a wide-brimmed hat, but lately it’s just been made up of whatever’s closest.
In combat she makes liberal use of a stun baton and some self-defense. While she has a basic understanding of small arms and will use a gun with little hesitation, she’s made a decision not to actively carry anything more formidable than the stun gun — precisely because she’s so quick to use lethal force when it’s available. Mistakes with the stun gun can be walked back.
Abilities: Camouflage and stealth, Acrobatics, Technopathy
(Technopathy and Camo/Stealth combine to passively manifest as Electronic Sensory Disruption: electronics trying to focus on Lio experience glitches and corruption.)
- Straight. Up. Creepin’. Roll Mundane to assess person or place.
- Won’t let you down. Spend 2 Team to add +2 to teammate’s roll.
- Suck it, Domitian. Roll Savior instead of Danger to engage a threat while under fire.
- Never give up, never surrender. Roll Savior instead of taking blows from opponents of greater power.
- I know what I am. Once per scene, when defending a teammate, can up Savior and down another Label, and add 1 Team to the pool.
- Game Face. +1 ongoing to save someone or to defeat an enemy.
- Stand Up For Something. Roll Savior to force people to listen when she yells at them.
_ Get a new costume
_ Kiss someone dangerous
_ Outperform an adult hero
_ Pull off a ridiculous stunt
- Backstory: Movers and Shakers
- Established Family
- What the heck kind of name is ‘Vespertilio’?
Vanessa “Shield” Signet: I understand why you did it. I knew you were going to. I just… thought maybe I could give you a reason not to. I was wrong. I usually am.
I’m sorry I couldn’t bring Cathy back. I failed her twice.
Sarah “Calavera” Mendez might be the only thing keeping Lio sane right now. It’s not fair to her. She has her own problems and doesn’t deserve to be saddled with a useless mess of a best friend on top of that.
Joey “Officer” Carron: …I thought I knew and now I don’t. How can I say what you need to hear if I don’t believe it myself?
M/Michael/Mika “Ugat” Pena is so… together. Too much together. Do they even care that their friend died? Did it even register as anything more than a mild inconvenience? Pete’s the one with the cameras, but is M the one putting on the act?
Robbie “Reflect” Rust: She was your friend, too. Probably more than mine. I shouldn’t have blamed you. You did everything you could.
Sorry we went for tacos without you. Wasn’t my idea.
Pete Friendly continues to roll with whatever the universe throws at him. Lio appreciates him encouraging her to be involved. He… feels a little less distant than Ugat, at least.
Siphon did alright on his first foray, and hey, he stood up to Omega and Cathy. Now he looks like he’s keeping his distance. Probably smart.
Do I miss him? No. But it was nice having someone else around, sometimes.
The Spectre: The only thing she’s done right in her entire goddamn life was save his. She enabled him to change the world.
It was arrogant to assume that she’d still have a place in it.
The New Exemplars: Just another bunch of kids, only this time with adult supervision. Shame the adult in question is an asshole. They don’t know any better. Do we? We can’t handle this whole city on our own, but neither can they.
Cygnus is back to being a mildly annoying ally.
Sasha Blaze was terrified of Lio, last they saw each other. After giving it some thought, Lio was inclined to be a little sympathetic and try talking to Sasha, but given Lio’s track record with second chances… Sasha had best not cross Lio’s path for awhile.
Blue Hydra: see above. Lio had some hopes of getting somewhere with Blue Hydra, but not in her current frame of mind.
According to everything she’s heard, Roy is a pretty stand-up guy. Yet Lio can’t quite shake the feeling that something is off about the golden boy — but maybe that’s just her being overprotective of Sarah.
Dr Rasima Nash is the therapist that this timeline’s Lio has been seeing through most of high school, a woman on the Troika payroll, since they long ago recognized that psychological health and stability is as important as the physical health of an operative. Lio still has a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, suicide ideation, and self-esteem issues… or did, until she died.
Backstory: Movers and Shakers
Like any kid, Lio dreamed once in awhile of being a superhero, but it was never a serious consideration.
Someday, one of your daughters will go missing. Maybe for a minute. Maybe for years. When — if — she returns, she will be changed. Her hair will be cut short, her face scarred. Be kind to her. You owe her everything we have built.
In another world, Vespertilio Lahcen was a normal kid born and raised in rural Michigan, facing death too young and never wholly coming to terms with it. She moved to Halcyon at 16 to care for one of her last remaining relatives. Two years later, when cleaning out her late aunt’s home, Lio discovered a hidden safe full of files from her vigilante great-grandfather, and her life changed. She donned a uniform and dubbed herself L’Esprit, and she sought out wrongs to right.
That world’s gone now, and selfish as it is, Lio wouldn’t go back to it for anything.
Seventy-eight years ago, with war heating up in Europe, Marlowe Maskelyne and three friends went up in his personal plane. The craft went down, killing all four passengers and burning their bodies beyond identification. Officials ruled it as mechanical failure. They were not present to see lurkers emerge and check the wreckage, taking only an opal ring from one of the bodies. The ring was delivered to a hidden room in Halcyon City, to the Golden Master, who laughed and began the next phase of her plans.
Maskelyne’s fortune was willed to the adopted daughter of the friends who had died with him. Claimed by other relatives, the child quickly fell off the radar. Even The Golden Master was unable to track her. Frustratingly, the death of her greatest enemy and his closest allies did not seem to make her world domination bid any easier, either.
Seventy-nine years ago, Lio told The Spectre everything she knew from the two timelines she had experienced. He was prepared.
The Spectre removed his loved ones — not only his two partners and (eventually) three children, but his friend Maskelyne and a number of identity-compromised agents — from danger, but they never stopped their work. In addition to overseas work during the war, and continual quiet sabotage of The Golden Master’s efforts, they also dealt with other miscarriages of justice and prepared for future threats.
By the time the Golden Master was (theoretically) finally defeated in 1973, the family had extended its influence deep into Halcyon’s inner workings. Certain family members took up traditional heroic mantles, especially those with superpowers. Others infiltrated particular industries or social circles, political movements and crime syndicates. Still others worked as Spymasters, curating their information and seeing it got to where it needed to be. All had a place, depending on their skills. All were supported by the family network, which had somewhere along the way gained a name: The Troika.
It was into that environment that this Vespertilio Lahcen was born. An extensive family with love, support, and resources to spare, but one with powerful expectations and dangerous secrets.
In this world, Lio always knew that she was going to be a hero, in some form. She’s been training for it her whole life.
Becoming L’Esprit was a minor act of rebellion. Sick of training and drills, Lio set out to deal with crime firsthand. Her family pretended not to notice her attempted double-life — as long as she kept her grades up and didn’t cause too much damage, it was good practice. Teenagers gotta rebel.
She still became friends with Sarah and tries her best to protect her. She still met Joey and gave him a place to stay with her perfectly normal, everyday civilian family.
She still formed the Corps, and still accidentally got Dio killed. Her family stepped in, then, and she hasn’t operated outside of Troika influence since.
She still joined with the Delinquents, but at Troika urging, to keep an eye on this upstart youth group that the Exemplars were showing such an interest in. They don’t know that she’s here basically as a spy, and this version of Lio would never have told them.
She still sincerely believes in justice, in helping innocents, righting wrongs, and fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves, and believes that her family’s methods are the best way.
She still participated in the sabotage of Frankie’s wedding — but she was killed in the destruction of the Dreadnought. Her family held a funeral and recovered her necklace.
And now, she’s back.
Lio’s family is extensive. Here’s a brief look at the established ones.
The Spectre (Elazar Serero), David Jasper Serero, and Evelyn Rose Serero: Great-grandparents. Probably dead by now. Probably.
Adelaide “Ada” Lahcen: The eldest of The Spectre’s three children, and Lio’s grandmother. Ran the Troika for most of her life, mostly in a managerial position but occasionally in the field in her younger days. Nearly ninety, retired, but still respected as the matriarch. Always seemed to favor Lio and have high expectations for her, despite her being relatively unremarkable. There was quite a stir when Ada gifted Lio their family heirloom.
Erik and Johannes Serero: The Spectre’s sons. The Sereros fostered a number of children smuggled out of Nazi Germany, Erik and Johannes were the two that remained with them.
Senka Serero: Current leader of the Troika, Ada’s first child by her first husband. Was particularly unhappy to find out Ada had gifted their family heirloom to Lio rather than herself or her son.
Lavinia Meunier: Erik’s daughter. Dealing with early-onset dementia, but the family’s connections ensure her the best possible care.
Marcus Meunier: Lavinia’s only child. Mid-twenties.
Isaiah “Ike” Lahcen: Lio’s dad, Ada’s youngest child by her second husband.
Dawn Lahcen: Lio’s mom. Animal behaviorist and bat specialist.
Pipistrelle “Ellie” Lahcen: Lio’s 15-year-old sister. Currently going through a rebellious phase, doing her own vigilante thing.
Lady Night will be added when/if her relationship is clarified.
What the heck kind of name is ‘Vespertilio’?
Look, their mom works in a bat sanctuary and has a thing for Latin. They were always just thankful they didn’t wind up ‘Pteralopex’ or ‘Rhogeessa’. Or ‘Mormoops’.